Bristol-Myers Squibb and PDL BioPharma Enter Global Alliance to Develop Novel Treatment for Multiple Myeloma
Elotuzumab Antibody Designed to Target Highly Expressed Cell Surface Protein and Selectively Kill Multiple Myeloma Cells
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDLI) today announced an agreement for the global development and commercialization of PDL BioPharma’s anti-CS1 antibody, elotuzumab, previously known as HuLuc63, currently in Phase I development for multiple myeloma.
Elotuzumab provides a novel approach to treating multiple myeloma because it is an antibody that binds to the CS1 glycoprotein, allowing the immune system to selectively kill myeloma cells with minimal effects on other cell types. CS1 is a cell surface glycoprotein that is widely expressed on multiple myeloma cells but is minimally expressed on normal cells. Elotuzumab is currently being investigated in Phase I studies as a monotherapy and in combination with other therapies. There are currently no approved monoclonal antibodies on the market to treat multiple myeloma.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Bristol-Myers Squibb would pay PDL BioPharma an upfront cash payment of $30 million for the development and marketing rights to elotuzumab and for an option to expand the collaboration to include PDL241, another anti-CS1 antibody, upon completion of pre-agreed preclinical studies. PDL BioPharma could receive additional payments of up to $480 million based on pre-defined development and regulatory milestones and up to $200 million based on pre-defined sales-based milestones for elotuzumab in multiple myeloma and other potential oncology indications.
The companies will share development costs, with Bristol-Myers Squibb providing 80 percent of the funding and PDL BioPharma providing 20 percent. Bristol-Myers Squibb will lead global development activities, and PDL BioPharma will complete the ongoing Phase I program and provide support for Phase II studies. The companies would share profits on sales of elozutumab in the U.S. PDL BioPharma would receive royalties on net sales of elotuzumab outside the U.S.
If Bristol-Myers Squibb exercises its option to expand the collaboration to include PDL241, PDL BioPharma would receive an additional cash payment of $15 million and could receive additional payments of up to $230 million based on pre-defined development and regulatory milestones and up to $200 million based on pre-defined sales-based milestones. The same division of development costs and profit sharing that apply to elotuzumab would apply to PDL241.
The closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and other customary regulatory approvals.
“Elotuzumab provides us with the opportunity to develop and market an innovative therapy that has the potential to meaningfully address the significant unmet medical need in multiple myeloma,” said Francis Cuss, MD, senior vice president, Discovery and Exploratory Clinical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Consistent with our company’s strategy to integrate external innovation and to expand our capabilities, this collaboration will further strengthen our pipeline of agents targeting hematologic malignancies, which includes SPRYCEL(R) and tanespimycin, an Hsp90 inhibitor from our recent acquisition of Kosan Biosciences.”
“We are delighted to enter this global alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which we believe will maximize the potential benefit of elotuzumab to patients, and highlight the value of our scientific discoveries and antibody technologies to the field,” said Mark McCamish, MD, PhD, PDL’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “In addition, Bristol-Myers Squibb brings extensive oncology development experience and resources and we look forward to collaborating with them to increase the scope of the elotuzumab development program moving forward.”
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